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Removing a Roof Top Tent

Rooftop tents are awesome bits of gear. They’re easy to set up, make efficient use of storage space, get around the unpleasantness of having a wet tent packed in with all your other gear, and give you a place to sleep that’s well away from puddles, snakes and creepy crawlies.

As great as they are, though, a rooftop tent isn’t something you want permanently mounted on your vehicle. That’s not good for your wallet and it’s not good for safety. It’s not even very good for the tent.

  • A rooftop tent creates drag. That’s not a problem at the speeds you’ll usually be going off road, but for everyday driving you’ll probably be getting around a good bit faster, and drag increases exponentially with speed. Overcoming that drag uses more fuel, and why pay for fuel you don’t need to be using?
  • If 4wd vehicles have a serious weakness, it’s that their centre of gravity is a lot higher than a normal car. That increases the risk of them rolling in an accident – or even if you take a corner too fast.
  • Leaving your tent mounted all the time just exposes it to unnecessary wear and tear. It’s going to get rained on, the UV in sunlight will slowly degrade any exposed plastic or fabric, its mountings will pick up constant low-level stress every time you accelerate, brake, hit a bump or go round a corner. You can extend its life by years if you store it in a sheltered place when you’re not actually touring.
  • You might not even be able to leave it mounted. A tent adds height to your vehicle, and not all garages have enough headroom to fit one in.

Obviously it makes sense to mount your rooftop tent when you’re packing for an expedition, and remove it again when you get home. Pretty much everyone agrees with this – but not everyone does it. There’s a simple reason for that. A lot of tents, particularly older ones, are a bit of a pain to get on and off your roof. Taking a wrench to bolts in confined spaces and skinning your knuckles on the roof rack isn’t a great way to spend time.

If you have one of our Front Runner tent mounting systems, though, it all becomes hassle-free. Designed to work with Front Runner’s own tent and most other popular brands, this system is based around four low-profile brackets that bolt on to your Front Runner roof rack. Between those and the supplied self-aligning bushes to mount on your tent, you get a secure and rattle-free installation – and it’s also easy as pie to dismount it all.

Two of the brackets are fitted with security locks to make sure nobody else gets any ideas about helping themselves to your tent. With the locks undone, just lift a tab on each bracket to release the tent and you can lift it right off. You can then store the tent flat on the ground – the bushes will give it some ground clearance.

With the tent dismounted, the brackets are small and unobtrusive; they won’t get in the way of using your roof rack for other stuff. Being able to get your tent on and off in a hurry gives you a whole new level of versatility – and, like all other Front Runner gear, this great system is built to handle the toughest conditions the African bush can throw at it.